Man Accused Of Targeting Seniors In Robberies, Sexual Assault In Long Beach

LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A woman was injured Thursday after being robbed at her home in Long Beach.

Police believe the crime was committed by the same man, who is wanted for series of robberies and a sexual assault in and around a senior housing complex.

The latest crime occurred about 7:25 a.m. Thursday when officers were dispatched to the 3700 block of Pacific Avenue, said Marlene Arrona of the Long Beach Police Department.

Police said the man forced his way into a 90-year-old woman’s house, tried to sexually assault her then robbed her.  As she fought him off, she was punched in the face, one neighbor said.

Neighbors said the latest victim is well known in the area and was probably targeted.

“She’s out walking almost everyday,” Martin Brindezik said.

The victim remains in the hospital being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Tracy Gatica, who lives across the street, leaves for work when it’s still dark. She worries she could be next. “I really don’t want to walk out here and find somebody staring at me,” she said. “It’s scary that it’s come to this, and people are getting so bold.”

Police have beefed up patrols around senior living facilities.

The victims’ ages range from 63 and 93.

The crime spree began on Feb. 2 at various times between 5:45 a.m. and 7:45 p.m. at the senior housing complex near Atlantic Avenue and Via Carmelitos, where four other attacks happened, police said.

In most cases, a man knocked on the door, forced his way inside, and physically assaulted the victims, police said.

The suspect got away with purses, cell phones and cash, police said. In one case, the victim was walking near the residential complex when the robbery occurred, police added.

Sunday’s incident escalated to a sexual assault, police said. The suspect rang the victim’s doorbell, forced his way into the residence and sexually assaulted the victim before fleeing with cash.

Her injuries appeared to be not life-threatening, police said.

The suspect is black, between 25 and 30, 5 foot 5 to 5 foot 11, with a thin to medium build.

Other possible victims are urged to come forward.

Anyone with information about the assaults is urged to call Long Beach police Sex Crimes Detective J. Kearns at (562) 570-7368 or email LBPDSexCrimes@longbeach.gov.

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